If one of your family’s 2012 resolutions is to find fresh, kid-friendly dining options that serve tasty eats, look no further than a bustling couple of blocks in Upper Fremont. Situated on Fremont Avenue between 42nd and 44th Streets, a new crop of affordable restaurants recently joined the ranks of established neighborhood eateries. Read on for a few great family spots serving up everything from salted caramel milkshakes and melty grilled cheese sandwiches to fresh butternut squash tacos and authentic pizza.

Burgers and Fries with a Twist: Uneeda Burger
A lively burger joint featuring a menu of updated classics, Uneeda Burger quickly became a local destination when it opened in 2011. Order at the counter, then grab a picnic-style table and draw in the fun with some crayons in a casual dining room. All burgers are made with locally sourced Painted Hills Beef. Even picky eaters will find something on the menu including chicken or veggie patties on regular or gluten free buns. For more sophisticated palates, the lamb burger with arugula, Manchego, and thin, tempura battered lemon slices is a symphony. Throw in a basket of perfect-for-sharing sweet potato fries or a bowl of Rocky Mountain Chili. Don’t forget to grab a few spoons and indulge in a black and blueberry or salted caramel Empire ice cream shake!

4302 Fremont Avenue N
Online: uneedaburger.com

A New Take on the Classics: Dot’s Delicatessen
The most recent addition to the neighborhood, Dot’s Delicatessen, offers hand-cut frites, creamy mashed potatoes, shepherds pie, chicken pot pie, and good old gooey grilled cheese and tomato soup in a bright setting. Most everything on the menu is locally sourced, and the cheerful staff make this mellow spot a best bet pick for a relaxed meal with kids-in-tow. Also, don’t forget to take home some house-made sausage for your family’s next weekend breakfast.

4262 Fremont Avenue N
online: dotsdelicatessen.com

Legendary Take-Away Sandwiches: Paseo
The Cuban roast pork sandwich at Caribbean restaurant Paseo is a Seattle classic, with famously marinated meat tucked in a long, crispy baguette dressed in caramelized onions and aioli. Sandwiches are easily big enough for two kids to share. Expect long lines, especially on the weekends, but the wait is part of the fun, and the kid-approved grub is worth it. On a rain-free day, grab a couple of Paseo’s sammies or the delicious Tofu Con Gusto, then walk a couple of blocks to the B.D. Day Playground between 40th and 41st streets for a post-nosh pick-up soccer game or a few trips down the slide.

TIP: Paseo is cash only, so remember to stop at the ATM on the way.
4225 Fremont Avenue N
online: paseoseattle.com

Pizza Night: Via Tribunali
Families flock to Via Tribunali for bona fide Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-burning brick oven. The full menu includes kid favorites like lasagna and easily sharable calzones stuffed with meat, cheese, and house-made sauce. The Fremont location of Via Tribunali  features a communal table that seats up to 20, making the perfect spot for big family celebrations, Italiano-style.

4306 Fremont Avenue N
online: viatribunali.net 

Fresh Mex: Pecado Bueno
Wee ones will love the colorful, Mexican wrestling themed decor of Pecado Bueno, a laid-back taqueria that opened in Upper Fremont last fall with plenty of room for strollers and gear. Utilizing natural and organic ingredients when possible, Pecado Bueno presents fresh versions of classic kid go-to dishes, like crispy taquitos stuffed with carnitas and topped with avocado lime crema and battered white fish tacos with black beans and green rice. Or, go early and try the breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros.

4307 Fremont Avenue N
online: pecadobueno.com

TIP: The Upper Fremont restaurant cluster is a stone’s throw from the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, a community space featuring a slew of all-ages concerts, visual arts openings, and workshops. Check the calendar for upcoming events, and plan an entire family evening of eating and entertainment!

It’s easy to find accessible street parking in Upper Fremont, and the 5 and 82 busses stop within a block of the eateries highlighted above. A bus timetable and transfer information is available on the website for King Country Metro.

–Sara Billups